Mollar pomegranate continues as Spanish star variety -

Mollar pomegranate continues as Spanish star variety

Despite increased pressure from new suppliers, one Spanish pomegranate exporter is confident it can continue to win consumer hearts by selling fruit of quality.mollar

Alcudia Export Fruit's Francisco Tomas Cerdán and Teresa Agullo spoke with at Fruit Logistica in Berlin about marketing and the company's star variety, Mollar.

"It has been one of the most difficult sales periods compared to recent years and the prices have been a little lower. The fruit has been sold 15 days late and due to competition from other countries, sales have decreased," said Agullo, the company's quality director.

Pressure from countries like Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco has increased rapidly, but Agullo said Alcudia Export Fruit enjoys the benefit of market familiarity.

"We have adapted to this new dynamic with quality. Our clients are used to our product, especially due to its quality and the new formats that we offer. There are clients in Canada that ask for one format, Italians that ask for another. And we adapt to them all," Agullo said.

Building on Spain's established export reputation, Agullo pointed to the traditional Mollar variety.

"Our native variety is the Mollar. It has been in production for thousands of years and has a great history. We are about to get designation of origin certification. It has been a years' long process, but it is almost finished," Agullo said.

"The Mollar variety, which is unique in the world, is centralized in the Elche zone [in Alicante], although it is expanding to others. It has had negative results, however, because the new zones due not have the same weather or land."

Cerdán, the commercial director, said the Mollar variety stands out for its sweetness, color and "almost imperceptible grains."

"We are also planting other varieties which are marketed in other countries. Soon there will be significant production in Spain of other varieties like Wonderful, Smith and Acco," he said.

Although Mollar will continue as the star variety, the addition of other varieties seeks to elongate the season.

"Since [Mollar] has been a very profitable tree until the moment, a lot of plantations have been made and it has become excessive, and not just in Spain. It is also being introduced in Italy, Morocco and Turkey. We think this could be negative in the long term," Cerdán said.

The company representatives added that they would like to increase contact with the Southern Hemisphere to supply pomegranates in the off season. Alcudia also hopes to begin exporting its fruit to Chile and Peru.